Saturday, 9 October 2010


Monday I started another new drawing. It began as a study, working stuff out for a possible painting.

I needed some lichen as reference so I brought in the branches on the table. It wasn't until Tuesday that I noticed there were creatures living on the twigs. I think they had been hiding. Poor things, I disturbed their home.
A photo that I was also using as a reference. Fascinating stuff to look at closely. Apparently they don't put roots into the tree. The fungus lives symbiotically, not as a parasite.

I wonder if that will have some kind of symbolism in the new series.
Here is the beginning of the drawing. I came to realize that I want to do it in pen rather than pencil. I think it is now going to go on to be a finished piece rather than a working-it-out drawing.
Wednesday I decided to try the experiments that my mentor had suggested to me. I had already gessoed about ten matt boards in preparation. The boards are relatively small as these are to be quick studies of 20-30 minutes trying different approaches.

As I set out my paints to begin I was beset by self-doubt. "I don't know what I am doing..." and I could feel the anxiety in my gut. But then it occurred to me that I am not supposed to know what I am doing because today I am experimenting! What a relief!
I have begun the first experiment. I am using a gel medium, the medium I decided on when I did my earlier experimentation.
I applied the paint drawing directly around the volume, hoping the brush strokes would help to express the form. It doesn't matter that it looks a mess, I am only evaluating enough so that I have an idea what to try next.
I put that one aside, I stopped for a snack and then began the second one.
I was going to just put the paint down in vertical brushstrokes and then manipulate it. I had to draw the tree in ink first so that I wouldn't lose the drawing. But after applying the paint over the very basic ink drawing, I am intrigued.
I then removed some of the paint with a rag to indicate light behind the tree. That made it a bit more compelling. And I decide that I will save this version as it may lead somewhere interesting, or onto other experiments.
On the third go, I went with line again, but this time I drew the tree with a "color shaper" after I applied down the paint. I like this better than the pen.

I thought I would wait until this one dried and then try adding some tone. But I also wanted to try painting in the tone while it was still wet, so I did a second one with the same method.
Once I got it to where it in the previous one, I started adding and subtracting paint. I like this one the best so far. I like the feeling of form that I am getting. I am not sure if the lines are adding anything.

But I don't need to form too many opinions at this point. The main focus now is just to see where the experiments take me. I want to do many more. As I try things, more ideas come and then I will try those ideas. This way I may end up with ten or even twenty experiments and I can get more of an idea of the direction I want to go in.

This was a lot of fun. I look forward to doing more next week.


iHanna said...

Zom, thanks for sharing your process - it really is interesting and very cool to follow along both in words and images and take a peek into your head (almost, at least what you let us see... ) Thanks!

Have a great weekend!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

ten-ten-ten here in the USA. Your process is totally beautiful to see and you are brave to share with those of us that understand how you need not to be critical during the actual journey. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

nollyposh said...

Wow! i ~Love~ this journeying with you... it is such a beautiful process <3